Need Advice for OTTB Lunging
   

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Need Advice for OTTB Lunging

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  • OTTB + scared of the whip
  • Lunging an ottb

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  • 3 Post By Cherie
  • 1 Post By Cherie

 
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    02-18-2012, 07:03 PM
  #1
Foal
Need Advice for OTTB Lunging

I have an 8 y/o OTTB. I have had him about 3 weeks. He has not raced since 2010.This horse is quiet and very willing to do what I ask of him. I plan to ride him dressage. He has only been lunging for a couple of weeks.He is starting to stop mid-circle and just look at me with his cute face. He is very afraid of a whip. He almost trembles when it comes near him. So sad.He never bolts or jumps, just looks at it. I only use it as an extention of my arm. I do not crack it or use it in any way. I have just been very patient and encourage him to keep moving forward. As of now we are just working on the walk and trot along with tranistions. I tried the canter; but he is nervous and a bit fast. When I canter him under saddle he is better. Am I on the right track? Any advice?Thanks!
     
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    02-18-2012, 07:13 PM
  #2
Trained
As long as you keep that whip low and not accidentally holding it up the where he feels threatened by it, sounds like you're doing fine. Just be consistent in everything you do. Eventually he will figure out you are not there to hurt him and he'll be fine.
     
    02-18-2012, 08:35 PM
  #3
Super Moderator
I would do just the opposite with him. I would get him used to the whip by thoroughly desensitizing him to it. Until you do, he will remain fearful of it and you will have a huge hole in his training. He will become 'reactive' and go into 'flight mode' every time you move fast or he sees someone else with a whip.

It does not take a long time to desensitize most OTTBs and OTQHs to get them over being whip-shy.

I used to buy a lot of horses off of the track when that was where people went for jumping, roping and barrel racing prospects. So, one of the first things they all needed was to get over being whip-shy, learn how to go to the right and learn how to tie.

The whip-shy thing was the easiest of the three.

They are quite easy to get over being whip-shy. Just start out directly in front of them and beat the ground with a whip. Of course, they will want to go backwards. Just let them back up but do not stop hitting the ground with the whip.

Do not let the horse turn around or go forward around you. Don't try to stop him from backing, but make sure that is the only way he can go away from you.

Every handler can go forward faster and longer than any horse can go backward. At some point, every horse will stop backing up. At that instant, stop waving the whip and back up 2 or 3 steps with the whip down. From that time on, it will take only a very short time until HE DECIDES that the whip is OK.

Usually, within a few minutes of the first time a horse stops, I can rub a whip all over him and beat the ground all around him without him getting upset.

I use this method for anything that a horse is afraid of. When THEY DECIDE to stop backing up, they are over it. You just have to back off and 'reward' them for stopping before approaching them again. It works for spraying with fly spray, bathing, clippers, you name it and it gets them over about all kinds of irrational fears.

You will find that this horse will be soooo much easier to work with and will have a lot more trust for you if you work on the things that he fears first.
     
    02-19-2012, 04:58 PM
  #4
Foal
Quote:
Originally Posted by Cherie    
I would do just the opposite with him. I would get him used to the whip by thoroughly desensitizing him to it. Until you do, he will remain fearful of it and you will have a huge hole in his training. He will become 'reactive' and go into 'flight mode' every time you move fast or he sees someone else with a whip.

It does not take a long time to desensitize most OTTBs and OTQHs to get them over being whip-shy.

I used to buy a lot of horses off of the track when that was where people went for jumping, roping and barrel racing prospects. So, one of the first things they all needed was to get over being whip-shy, learn how to go to the right and learn how to tie.

The whip-shy thing was the easiest of the three.

They are quite easy to get over being whip-shy. Just start out directly in front of them and beat the ground with a whip. Of course, they will want to go backwards. Just let them back up but do not stop hitting the ground with the whip.

Do not let the horse turn around or go forward around you. Don't try to stop him from backing, but make sure that is the only way he can go away from you.

Every handler can go forward faster and longer than any horse can go backward. At some point, every horse will stop backing up. At that instant, stop waving the whip and back up 2 or 3 steps with the whip down. From that time on, it will take only a very short time until HE DECIDES that the whip is OK.

Usually, within a few minutes of the first time a horse stops, I can rub a whip all over him and beat the ground all around him without him getting upset.

I use this method for anything that a horse is afraid of. When THEY DECIDE to stop backing up, they are over it. You just have to back off and 'reward' them for stopping before approaching them again. It works for spraying with fly spray, bathing, clippers, you name it and it gets them over about all kinds of irrational fears.

You will find that this horse will be soooo much easier to work with and will have a lot more trust for you if you work on the things that he fears first.
Thanks so much. Sounds like good solid advice. I will give it a try.However, I am using a lunge line and no round pen. Should I do this in the arena or a smaller area?
     
    02-19-2012, 06:40 PM
  #5
Weanling
Its unfortunate that you don't have a round pen. What I usually do to desensitive them to the whip is put them in a round pen, and slap the whip against the ground until they stop running around in circles and stand still. It usually only takes a few times of that to get them over being scared of the whip.
Since you don't have a round pen, I would put him in a arena or fenced in area in case he freaks out, and start to slowely get him used to being around it, keep doing that until he will let you rub it all over his body. Then you should start waving it around until he gets used to it- start slowely.
I would be reluctant to start off by making him back up, if he's very frightened by it be may decide to rear up and strike out in fear. Then again, different things work for different horses.
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    02-19-2012, 10:00 PM
  #6
Super Moderator
Please don't chase a hot-blooded reactive horse with a whip. Letting them run forward is just asking for a reactive horse to jump out of a pen or bounce off of the panels and hurt themselves.

Since many reactive and truly fearful horses go into panic mode, you can only keep them safe when you keep them facing you and only give them an escape route of backing up. Horses can bounce off of fences or go through them running forward, but backing one up is a much safer way to let them decide to stop and stand still.

I have yet to have a horse hurt themselves backing up.

I would use a nice thick lead-rope and not a hard to handle longe line. I would use an arena or fenced in area just in case the horse jerked away from me.
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    02-19-2012, 11:24 PM
  #7
Foal
Hey yer I agree with Cherie with getting him desensitized. :)
But yer I have had the same problem with my warmblood 17.1hh horse. However he is not scared of the whip he justs stops and stares at me! Haha. And its half intimidating cause he's soo big and solid.
But what I have done with him is just gone to teaching him the very basics. Start in the walk around you. Get him used to the whip meaning go... (when you have desensitized him), and get him moving around you. Then just practice changing the pace and changing the rein with ease and ease of understanding.
If he tries to stop, just explain to him to walk on around you again, with the lead rope and pressure of the whip. Its important he understands how to keep moving after he's refused to move.
When you both have an understanding you can proceed into trot, and if he goes to stop just apply a little bit off pressure with the whip to let him know to travel forward.
Its all about getting the understanding and connection between the horse and rider.
But yer when your good in the trot, you should be fine in the canter.

Haha with my big guy he would like fully stop and refuse to move. And he just didnt understand how to move away from the whip pressure. So when id use it hed get more tense and stand taller and bigger! Lol. So yer get that understanding and connection. :) Well that's what I have found to work... haha. Hope you can take something from that! :) lol
     
    02-20-2012, 12:18 AM
  #8
Weanling
I thought that when they stopped and turned toward you that was a good thing ?
That you were supposed to reward them for submitting?
     
    02-20-2012, 02:36 AM
  #9
Foal
Quote:
Originally Posted by WildAcreFarms    
I thought that when they stopped and turned toward you that was a good thing ?
That you were supposed to reward them for submitting?
it depends really. If you are asking them to go forward, and they stop its not a good thing. It usually means that they don't understand, but if they stop when you ask them to stop and they turn to you, that is a good thing. Its like them stopping and asking whats next. Lol
     
    02-21-2012, 09:39 AM
  #10
Foal
Thanks for lunging advice

Thank you everyone for your tips. I am currently working on the de-sensitizing him with the whip. He is doing much better. So far we have not had any craziness. They are building a round pen at my barn and that will be a big help. Thanks again!
     

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